Louis van Gaal has revealed that signing a deep-lying midfielder for Manchester United will be a priority in the summer transfer window.
The 20-times English champions have heavily relied on Michael Carrick's services in the holding midfield position, with last summer signing Daley Blind playing in that position in the absence of the England international.
United have clearly struggled in Carrick's absence and the former Netherlands manager deployed striker Wayne Rooney in that position in a few fixtures. And the United manager claimed signing a number six will be key as he looks to bolster the squad for the next season.
"No.6 is a key player, yes. I have more key roles - the No.6 is just one of those key roles. You have seen this season, for example, because Michael Carrick is injured and I don't have another, I have to play with Ander Herrera there. He did it very well, but it is not his speciality," Van Gaal told United's official website.
"I have played Wayne Rooney there also, but it is not his favoured position. I had to do this because I don't have another right-footed holding midfielder like Carrick. That is why it is a key role, but I cannot discuss other positions because then I show too much."
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has been linked with a move to Old Trafford. It should be seen if the German international will join United as he is also on the radar of Barcelona.
Meanwhile, the Dutchman has admitted that he is not looking to leave most of United's transfer business until deadline day as he looks to complete most of the deals in the early stages of the window.
"It is always ending on 31 August, which, in my opinion, is ridiculous. I have many times strived to change the transfer window because it has to be out of the competition. You have to be finished before you prepare your team for the season," the United manager said.
"Last year we had the World Cup and a lot of players came in later. We made a lot of purchases at the last moment, on 31 August, so we had to prepare our team in the Premier League and that cost us a lot of points. That's the difference with other teams. I hope we shall finish that much earlier," he added.